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Laurel (and Surrounding Schools) Safe Routes - To Do's (Scope [Coleman Avenue], Champion and Stakeholders' Responsibilities)

From: domainremoved <Jennifer>
Date: Sun, 11 Sep 2016 14:22:39 -0700

Dear Menlo Park City Officials (and Other Key Stakeholders [If you are
getting this email you are probably a Stakeholder - see spreadsheet
- also attached]),

Thank you for directing City Staff to prioritize a study of Laurel Safe
Routes. As you know, I have been very concerned with the safety of children
(M-A high school teenagers included) walking and biking to school in our
community, as well as interested in reducing vehicle traffic that is
clogging our neighborhood streets. Agreeing to study Laurel Safe Routes is
a great first step in improving safety and traffic in our area. Thank you

As you move forward in your plans to study the Laurel area of Menlo Park,
please consider the following (see To-Do list
- also attached):

   - Make sure the *scope* of the Safe Routes study includes the entire
   area of Laurel (see map
- also
   attached). From my efforts over the past year, and from feedback from the
   community, *Coleman Avenue* must be the top priority (see YouTube video
   <https://youtu.be/Z96DHR22G5c> from January 2016 that shows the current
   dangerous situation).

   - Find a *champion* to lead the Safe Route initiative. The champion
   should be able to work with contacts in each of the
   agencies/jurisdictions/stakeholder groups that are affected. The champion
   can also work with the stakeholders to determine which part(s) of the Safe
   Routes 5 E's they should each own (see spreadsheet to see list of
   - also attached). This must be a multi-jurisdictional and comprehensive
   process if it is to be done "right".

   - Look into warrants to install *stop signs on Coleman Avenue at Santa
   Monica* right away. Do not wait for a full study to do this. The school
   buses planned for Upper Laurel demand a safe crossing for kids right away.

With regards to Coleman Avenue in the long term, as you know, the County
has just installed "No Parking" during school drop off and pick up hours
(thank you, County!). While this is a good first step on their part, to
make Coleman Avenue truly safe for bikers and pedestrians, car traffic must
be reduced on the road. Again, while I urge you to study options as part of
your larger Laurel Safe Routes study (I'm not a traffic engineer), some
ideas to consider include:

1."No Turn" onto Coleman from Willow Road (in either direction):

   - 24/7,
   - During school commute hours (for example, 7-10am and 1:30-4pm),
   - Or during peak school commute times (a police officer could stand on
   Coleman when it is the busiest and prevent cars from turning).

2. Close Coleman Avenue at the City/County line.

3. Make Coleman Avenue a one-way street with car traffic flow permitted
going west from Willow to Ringwood. Parking and car traffic could remain on
the north (where the apartments are) side of the street. If parking is
removed on the south side of Coleman, there is room from Willow to Ringwood
to allow a sidewalk, dual-direction bike lane and buffered strip on the
other side of the road.

While the Laurel Mom Plan/Laurel Connector Bike Plan advocated a Safe Route
along Gilbert Avenue, it has become clear that Coleman Avenue is the key to
making this entire area safe. I originally had passed on Coleman because of
the challenges that this stretch of road present. However, as part of the
conversations that have followed from my efforts (and I'm thrilled to have
been part of many productive meetings/exchanges about this), I now believe
that "fixing" Coleman is do-able, and completely necessary.

*A true Safe Route that connects schools in the Laurel area of Menlo Park
is possible if 1) Coleman Avenue is made safe and 2) the Willow Oaks Park
and GAIS parking lot have proper walking and biking paths.*

Thank you for your ongoing thoughtfulness and consideration of this matter.
On a personal note, due to family obligations, I will not be able to take
such an active role on monitoring this effort. Please do what you can to
ensure that our kids are kept safe.

Very sincerely,
Jen Wolosin
Laurel Mom

Received on Sun Sep 11 2016 - 14:28:34 PDT

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